The total assessed value of Bay County in 1879 footed $11,942.978. Thus it is seen that the material wealth has kept pace with the increase of population while taxation has once reached its maximum for many years, and has perhaps decreased to about its lowest point till the bonds are paid.
Up to 1866 the only way to reach Bay County from any place was by water - the Saginaw river or Bay - no practicable stage roads for all seasons of the year could be made, the powers up the river opposing any such improvements between rival cities. But about this time the people of Bay County came to their senses and made arrangements to connect Bay City with East Saginaw by the Bay City and East Saginaw railroad, which was advantageously leased to the F. & P. railroad for a long term of years, they assuming the bonded indebtedness and etc. Soon after the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw railroad reached a point opposite Bay City, and finally in two or three years was extended north, and beyond the limits of Bay County, through nearly all the townships. Soon after this the Detroit & Bay City railroad was completed from Detroit to Bay City, and a road commenced from Bay City to Midland west and a road bed made.
These roads opened up the county in every direction, giving the county complete access by water and rail, for the largest commerce with every quarter of the world, and it has been flowing in at as rapid a rate as to any county and city in the state of their age.
The following is from the pen of W.R. McCormick and taken from the work he is now writing of the "Pioneers of the Saginaw Valley for the Last Fifty Years."Mr. McCormick is speaking of Thomas Rogers, an old pioneer of the valley, says:
And now in regard to this noble man's wife! I fear that I am inadequate to do her justice. It would take a better pen to portray her many acts of benevolence; her many acts of womanly devotion to suffering humanity and to the pioneers and their families, in the hours of sickness and death in those early days that tried men's souls.
Mrs. Elizabeth Rogers, wife of Thos. Rogers, was the daughter of an eminent physcian, Dr. Wilcox of Watertown, New York, who afterwards moved to Toronto, Canada. She was born Nov. 12th, 1809. When a young girl she attended her father's office and filled his prescriptions. She became a great student and to such an extent did she pursue the study of medicine that at the age of eighteen she was often consulted by father on different cases, and it was that which fitted her in after years to be of such great benefit to the settlers of the Saginaw Valley. At the age of nineteen she became the wife of Thomas Rogers. After residing for a year near Toronto, she came with her husband to Michigan in 1837-8 and settled in Portsmouth, now South Bay City.
From 1837 to 1850 she was the only practicing physician to the early settlers. At all hours of the day or night, when called upon, you would find her at the bedside of the sick and dying. Through storm, or snow, rain or shine, it made no difference to her. Sometimes on horseback, sometime on foot through woods. She felt it to be her duty, and like an angel of mercy, she did it, and would have continued to do so, but as settlers began to come, also doctors came. She still visited the sick of a few old settlers for they would have none other but her. There was scarely a birth for twenty years but what she was present. In that dreadful year of the cholera, which swept off so many of the inhabitants, she was at the bedside of the sick and dying, administering assistancea and comfort without money and without price. Yes, without any renumeration, for she made no charge. She felt it a duty she owed her fellow creatures, and nobly did she do it. Of-enimes, the settlers would bring her something and she would accept it thankfully.